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Health, Tourism Officials Provide COVID-19 Guidance For Non Locals

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Sonora, CA – Local health officials are addressing Flaring concerns over out of area visitors bringing coronavirus into the Mother Lode by providing guidelines.

As reported here, information regarding the first case of COVID-19 found in Tuolumne County was released early Wednesday. The patient was described as a 31-year-old female from Mono County who was staying at a second home in the Sonora area and after testing positive was quarantined at Adventist Health Sonora along with a companion who was experiencing symptoms but had not yet tested positive.

The discovery triggered a whole new set of state and county-required protocols from Tuolumne County Public Health for health care providers, employers, employees, and residents, viewable here. The finding led health officials to specifically reference the California Public Health Officer’s March 19 stay at home order, and additionally encourage visitors to be mindful and avoid travel into the county until it is lifted.

Public health officials are emphasizing to visitors from other counties that if travel into Tuolumne County is necessary, they should follow all current local and state guidelines; conduct self-monitoring activities, which include checking for symptoms twice daily if possible by taking your temperature and watch for fever or development of a cough and/or shortness of breath.

Visitors developing symptoms or needing to seek medical care should self-quarantine within lodging/residence and call your healthcare provider or the Adventist Health Advice Line at 844-542-8840 between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. or the after-hours hospital emergency department. A COVID-19 Information Line is active at 209-533-7440 weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for questions or concerns.

Tourism, State Park Officials Weigh In

Visit Tuolumne County President-CEO Lisa Mayo tells Clarke Broadcasting that while her office is promoting tourism, its messaging is very much upbeat and future-focused.

“We are just telling people not to come at this point in time, that their travel can wait, and as much as they want to be here and we want them here — it is not the time — and we cannot wait for that time to come when we can welcome everyone back.”

Mayo adds that for residents and businesses, the website has new tools and content promoting timely local services and products available such as food for carryout and delivery and gift certificates that people interested in helping boost local businesses can purchase now to redeem later.

Fortunately, with regard to out of town visitors showing up in numbers, Central Valley California State Parks spokesperson Rhiannon Montgomery, who is stationed at Columbia Historic State Park, but also works with Railtown 1897 in Jamestown and Big Trees State Park in Arnold, shares there have not been any issues or problems as of yet.

What she is seeing at the parks are family and household members from local communities going out together and or with their dogs to walk outdoors as is currently allowed under the state mandate.

“[Parks remaining open] is definitely NOT an encouragement [for out-of-area visitors] to take a road trip and have a gathering of any sort at the park,” Montgomery maintains. “That is not our intent whatsoever — I just want to help everyone understand what the department is offering for the public at this time…this is not the time for nonessential travel.”